FanPost

Has the line-up change worked?

A couple weeks ago, Alvin Gentry switched up his starting line-up, inserting Brown and Morris in place of Dudley and Scola. Athleticism in; intelligence to the bench. The Suns proceeded to win 2 of 3, and the move was hailed. Then we got smashcaked by the Pistons, played get-well-team for the slumping Raptors, and failed to get out of the gate in New York. Was it still a good move?

Stats! courtesy of 82games.com. I'm not sure how many games this includes, but it's probable it doesn't include at several based on the minutes figures:

# Unit Min Off Def +/- W L Win%
1 Dragic-Dudley-Beasley-Scola-Gortat 199.0 0.95 1.14 -75 4 10 28.5
2 Dragic-Brown-Beasley-Morris-Gortat 125.5 1.12 1.29 -42 2 9 18.1
3 Telfair-Tucker-Dudley-Scola-O'Neal 66.5 1.11 0.95 +16 4 2 66.6
4 Telfair-Brown-Tucker-Morris-O'Neal 25.1 1.07 0.98 +4 3 2 60.0

Off and Def above are the points per possession scored and allowed by the squads, respectively.

From the above, we can see that the new starting lineup scores a lot more. Instead of 95 points per 100 possessions (godawful), they are scoring 112 points per 100 possessions (very good).

However, the starters' defense suffers. The old squad yielded a miserable 112 points per 100, but the new squad verges on setting some kind of record for putrid defense, allowing 129.

Overall, the gains in offense outweigh the defensive disimprovement, slightly. 2 points per 100 possessions is a relatively small difference, and you can see that it hasn't translated into their outscoring the competition a greater % of the time based on the wins and losses.

The bench, however, has been the main beneficiary. With Duds and Scola in tow, their scoring is up, and their defense has also improved. Overall, they are a robust 7 points per hundred better than before. And, as you may see from the minutes above, they are playing more minutes than the old bench did at the beginning of the year. Because, they're better and stuff.

Finally, notice that while the bench has beating up opposing benches pretty well, the starters have been clearly worse than their starting counterparts.

Overall, this change holds up. Good move, Gentry.

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